Fraudster ordered to pay back holiday

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THE MERCURY

Pleasure cruiser Calvin de Bruyn outside the Durban Regional Court, where he pleaded guilty to fraud. Picture: Marilyn Bernard

Durban - A young Glenwood man who scored free cruises for himself and friends through producing fake bank deposit slips, has been ordered to repay the cruise company he defrauded of R350 000.

Twenty-three-year-old Calvin de Bruyn avoided a direct jail sentence when he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in a plea-bargain agreement, which came before Durban Regional Court magistrate Blessing Msani on Wednesday.

In terms of the deal, negotiated by his lawyer, Ridwaan Sayed, with prosecutor Surekha Marimuthu - and which was sanctioned by MSC Cruises - he has to repay a “compromise amount” of R200 000 at just more than R3 000 a month.

On top of this, he got a five-year suspended sentence.

De Bruyn was arrested more than a year ago.

His crime was discovered when he sold fake tickets for a cruise that did not exist.

The duped party sold them on to someone else, who alerted the police when she was left high and dry on the dockside.

In his guilty plea on Wednesday, he admitted booking two cabins for a cruise in November 2012 valued at R17 000, and another in December for 10 cabins valued at about R95 000.

Later that month, he booked eight cabins for a special New Year’s cruise to Mauritius. These were valued at R237 000.

He admitted that on each occasion, he had presented fake bank deposit slips to the MSC booking agent as proof of payment.

In January 2013, he said he produced the false tickets for a cruise and sold them for R4 000 to Vojaun de Bruin, telling him they were valid.

De Bruyn was also initially implicated as a suspect, but was later exonerated.

De Bruyn said he was now employed as a managing director of MG Events Management.

“I am truly remorseful for what I have done. It has caused a strain in my relationship with my parents,” he said.

The Mercury


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